SRH Vs MI: Caribbean force downs SRH in a low scoring encounter
When the two powerhouses of the IPL meet at the Hyderabad, it is always expected for both of them to bring their A game to the table. Mumbai Indians have had great memories of the stadium in Hyderabad as they defeated the RPS in 2017 at this very ground to get their 3rd IPL title. Last Year, when these two met, a low scoring thriller saw Stanlake take SRH past the finish on the penultimate delivery of the game. The Orange Army with 40,000 Oranged out people shouting at the top of their voices, made up for a brilliant atmosphere and Nabi, Kaul and Bhuvneshwar ensured Mumbai never really got off the hooks until the 19th over. Cricket Pundits questioned Pollard’s place in team with Rohit not looking to him as a bowling option and his on-off show with the bat. Today, that man was about to show the world the class that he has been displaying in the blues over the year. When Nabi dropped him in the 19th over, Pollard decided to bring his brute to the table and with monstrous hoics and breezing finish, he guided Mumbai to a respectable 136 which would have given their bowlers a chance to back themselves to defend the total. But Warner and Bairstow in the form of their life needed to be stopped. The new recruits in the Mumbai talent factory namely Rahul Chahar and Alzarri Joseph now stepped up and exposed the vulnerable SRH middle order. Vijay Shankar and Manish Pandey had a chance to live upto this IPL’s tagline of Game Banayega Name but they failed to do so. Questions were raised on the way of their dismissals but the game was all poised for an enthralling finish. SRH, in the absence of Kane Williamson, looked shorn of experience after the duo’s exit. Vijay Shankar, on whom they rested a lot of hope, played a weak pull against Joseph and top edged a catch to point. Manish Pandey, played into the hands (quite literally) of Rohit Sharma who had positioned himself at a straightish midwicket. When Chahar had Yusuf Pathan caught sweeping, SRH had collapsed dramatically to 62 for 5. SRH still had a lower order that could threaten the target but the strapping Joseph ensured there was no such drama. Keeping it short and quick, or full and on the stumps, Joseph bagged Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar to send SRH towards a quick demise. He finished off the formalities when Kaul nicked behind, to finish with 6 for 12 – the best bowling figures of all time in the IPL! Talk about a debut to remember. Mumbai Indians for a change have kick started their season in the first half of it and if the this is anything to go by, MI becomes a real threat for everyone and is now a team to beat. Sunrisers meanwhile have a lot to settle in terms of their middle order because in a league like this, if you are exposed, you will be exploited.